ICICI Bank has launched a number of banking applications called iWear for smartwatches which offer transactional and informational services for the bank’s customers. The iWear application is currently available for Android and Tizen watch users and can be downloaded from the Google Playstore The application will also be available for Apple smartwatches as soon as the products hit shelves worldwide, the bank added.
For wearables on Android, the application allows ICICI Bank customers to check their savings, current and credit card accounts, view last three transactions of savings and current account and recharge prepaid mobiles from the smartwatch. Apple Watch users, in addition to checking their accounts and credit card balances, will also be able to recharge prepaid mobiles, pay bills, locate ATMs and branches and get personal offers.
It’s also worth noting that rival HDFC Bank has also said that it will be getting a banking application for smartwatches. Broadcaster NDTV also says that it will be getting out an application for the Apple Watch on April 24.
How it works
– iWear will have to be paired with an app on the customer’s smartphone and is connected via Bluetooth. Note that the application on the smartwatch will not work if the phone is not in range or runs out of charge.
– Customers will have to enter their registered mobile number in the application on the mobile phone and enter a four digit login pin of their choice.
– Customers will then receive a six digit OTP on their registered mobile number. Enter the code in the app to complete verification. Log into the iWear application on the watch with the four digit PIN and begin transactions.
Mobile recharges and bill payments
From the demo the bank showed, the mobile recharges and bill payments seem a bit limited considering the form factor of the smartwatch. Customers will have to enter a fixed amount for recharging a particular number on the application on their mobile phone and users can then tap on a single button on the smartwatch application to finish the transaction. The amount will be deducted from the customer’s ICICI Bank account. Similarly for bill payments, the services whose payments need to be done need to be entered on the smartphone application and the payment can be done on one touch. But that brings the question if you’re entering the details for recharges and bill payments on the smartphones, they can very well be done on the mobile phone. So far applications on smartwatches feel like they’re all about form and not much functionality.